Live Life As If You've Got Powers

by Jimmy Kelly

So there's a new song that’s sticking out in my mind these days; the song is called Immortal by Kid Cudi. There’s one particular line that stands out to me: “I tried to tell all my friends as a kid that I’ve got powers, and nobody wanted to believe me.”  I enjoy the nostalgia of believing you have superpowers as it’s the epitome of what childhood is:  dreaming of what you can become.  I think we should never let go of the idea of dreaming what we can become in order to improve ourselves in the present.  One of my favorite interview questions is the one asking which superpower you’d have and why.  It provides the interviewee an opportunity to flash their personality that might often get overshadowed by the pressure of trying to be the perfect candidate.  The truth is, as Student Affairs professionals, we do have powers. 

We have the power to cultivate and develop student leaders, allowing them to tap into and harness their abilities.  We also have the power to assist them with achieving their academic, personal, and professional goals.  Another power we have is that we can be innovative and creative in our efforts to provide students with a holistic collegiate experience.  Our powers are endless!

One of the most important powers that we have is the power to positively impact a person’s life.  Think about that for a second…you have the opportunity to impact someone’s life!  We have an integral influence on students’ collegiate experience – a time in their life that is one of transition, discovery, innovation, and affirmation.   During our careers we will serve as advisors, supporters, and mentors to countless students; thinking about that really makes me realize the impact we can have on the world.  Gandhi stated it best when he says “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  Student Affairs professionals truly have an opportunity to be change agents.

Again, think about Student Affairs professionals who played an integral role in your collegiate experience and how they may have changed your life.  Maybe it was an advisor who encouraged you to take a leadership position within your organization.  Or maybe a supervisor opened your eyes to the world of Student Affairs.  Reflect on challenges you faced, obstacles you overcame, successes you had, and your growth and development.  There’s a good chance that Student Affairs professionals had an impact on you.

Just like real superpowers, we can tap into and develop our powers to make them stronger.  The more you practice your skills and develop yourself as a professional, the better you will become.  Just remember, with great power comes great responsibility; we must use our powers wisely.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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